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to be disappointed that my 4 year old doesn't want piano lessons

(203 Posts)
evalluna Sun 01-Sep-13 08:56:05

Both my partner and I are musical, I played in orchestras throughout school and university and a bit beyond, though have let it slide since having children. My partner plays several instruments and has played in loads of different ensembles. We have a piano which we both (again mainly pre-kids) enjoyed playing though not to a great standard. We have always been keen for our kids to learn though (I have always regretted not having piano lessons as we didn't have a piano when I was growing up.) My partner was keen for them to learn by the suzuki method, so yesterday we took our daughter to meet a suzuki teacher, who was lovely (and our daughter actually went to sit next to when asked which is unusual as she is usually shy with unknown adults). However, when the teacher tried to do a few clapping games with her she wasn't interested and started being silly, and when she asked her if she wanted to learn to play the piano she said no. Understandably the teacher didn't want to take on a young child who didn't want to learn and suggester we leave it a while.

I am a bit disappointed, partly as I am probably projecting my own wish to have learned young on to her and feel it is wasting an opportunity. Also, I think she does have a fair bit of musical ability - she has always loved music and has had a very in-tune singing voice from an early age. My partner feels we have somehow failed not to have instigated in her a desperate desire to learn the piano. However, personality wise she has always been a mixture of extremely stubborn and quite anxious in new situations and has never been one for doing something she doesn't want to do. I wonder if she is just not ready - similarly for a long time she refused to write her name when asked even though she could but now is happy to do so. And although she has known her letters for a long time she has only recently wanted to attempt to put them together to read (she is about to start reception) and it was pointless trying to get her to do this before.

We have got a book called Lulus piano lesson which we have been reading with her and she likes, and my partner has done a bit with her, teaching her where the notes are, which she knows. When i ask why she doesn't want to learn she says 'because I already know' (ie can bash about a bit!)

I don't want to push it, but want to try to develop things so she might be ready for lessons at some point. Has anyone had similar experience/ got any advice? Thanks.

allyfe Sat 12-Oct-13 19:51:36

Evalluna, Ive come to this a little late, but I did just want to throw something in. I want to say something to you, and something to the people on the thread who have said WTF (I paraphrase), she is only 4. My 4 year old is currently doing a Suzuki musicianship class, with a view to starting piano lessons in January (she will be nearly 5). We are not musical, and we are going to have to do music education classes ourselves (with the Suzuki piano teacher). I had talked to my daughter about it, and she was keen before we started this process of observation and group lessons, but I am not sure if she really knew what it meant because we aren't musical. However, our teacher won't let my dd start doing piano lessons herself until she has done a term of musicianship classes (she will continue doing this until she is in yr 2), and has observed for a terms worth of piano lessons. So each Saturday I take my two children and we sit in on someone else's piano lessons. My children (4 & 2) do drawing and puzzles and try to be quiet (not always successfully). Having watched the lessons, it has surprised me that it is less 'fun' than I expected. It is properly learning the piano (but by ear rather than by reading the music). I was worried that perhaps my daughter wasn't going to really want to do it. But this morning, she got upset on the way to observation. I had told her she would start after half term previously, but had found out it will be January now. She was gutted because she wants to start now. I have told her she will have to practice everyday, but I have also said that it is something we will do together. She is desperate to start, but she has accepted it won't be until Mummy has done the course she needs to do first (!). So, what I'm trying to say (sorry - very long winded), is that you might talk to the teacher about observing some lessons. If your dd shows no interest at all in taking lessons herself, then as you have decided yourself, then leave it for a while. She will still learn musical skills from her dance. Now, just to refer to the 'why do it at 4 years old' and the suggestion that an older child will learn faster. It is certainly true that an older child will learn faster. There is a relationship between pitch processing for speech and music, and so an older child, through learning about reading, has learnt a great deal of useful information about sound and speech which is invaluable for learning about music. However, the relationship works both ways. Learning about pitch, rhythm and tempo in music are hugely beneficial to learning about language and reading. Children who do music very early are MUCH more likely to develop perfect pitch. For most children, learning to read first and then applying those skills is the way most people learn an instrument. However, for dyslexic children, playing an instrument can have a massive remedial benefit. We have a family history of dyslexia, and my daughter has some of the risk factors. So, I'm encouraging my daughter to learn piano. We are going to do the Suzuki method because I very much want something which strongly involves me, as her parent. I think that this is the best way to help it be a positive and fun experience for her. I also wanted something that requires/expects everyday practice. So, my DD is going to start young. She may not prove to be dyslexic. The cognitive benefits of early music are huge. But more than anything I want her to enjoy it. For that, I have really appreciated reading all of the comments from people about how they didn't enjoy music. I am going to be very careful to try my hardest to help her enjoy this. And Evalluna, I'll be interested to hear how you and your DD progress.

rtbd Fri 25-Oct-13 06:49:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

SatinSandals Fri 25-Oct-13 07:28:11

Children pick up a lot that is not said and I would imagine that subconsciously she realises that you have lots of expectations for her to live up to. I would relax and enjoy the music yourself and either she will want to take part or she won't. She will most probably want to play an instrument, but if she doesn't there is absolutely no point in pushing her. It has to come from her.

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